Over the past decade, Dr. Kurt Bamberger has made six visits to Guatemala to spend a week with other doctors providing surgical care to the people in the La Labor region. Through a volunteer mission at Sangre de Cristo Health Care Project, the doctors are able to attend to the surgical needs of patients in rural communities from villages north of Guatemala City.
The Sangre de Cristo Health Care Projects provides access to affordable health care with a service area covering 42 villages. Yearly, in coordination with a volunteer surgical team from Dayton, Ohio, they offer a surgery campaign. Dr. Bamberger joins this team to perform operations in the parish hall — from hernias, cyst and tumor removals to hand and foot surgeries and other minor procedures. Without access to an anesthesia machine, operations were limited to those that can be done with either spinal or local anesthesia.
For Dr. Kurt, the mission trips to Guatemala are gratifying both professionally and personally. Professionally, his surgical skills have the power to positively change the lives of patients who have access to minimal healthcare. Personally, it is extra rewarding that it has become become a family tradition for he and his brother, Dr. Brent Bamberger, a hand surgeon in Dayton, OH.
The patients are immensely grateful for their services. They might offer a dozen eggs or some rolls of toilet paper to pay for their surgeries but it is their heartfelt appreciation for the care that is the true payment. The Reading Hospital has always shown their support of Dr. Bamberger’s mission trips, sending along much needed supplies and equipment. This past year, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine resident, Natalie Nowak, MD accompanied Dr. Bamberger and the team to Guatemala this year.
The Sangre de Cristo Health Care Project
The Sangre de Cristo Health Care Project is a health care project serving the rural and marginalized urban communities in the municipalities of San Pedro Ayampuc and Chinautla, Guatemala. Since 1995 their goal is to improve the quality of life of the families that live in the local communities by providing services, programs and activities through an integrated health care system which includes the 3 focus areas of health education, health promotion/disease prevention and direct curative services. As a primary comprehensive health care program in an extensive service area, the Sangre de Cristo Health Care Project provides access to affordable health care, as well as, implementing programs and activities which assist the population to develop the knowledge and skills needed to improve their own health and well-being. Over 90,000 persons per year receive direct benefits from our services, which include:
5 Medical Clinics
2 Dental Clinics
5 Community Pharmacies
Medical, Surgical and Dental Day Campaigns
Dental Health Education for Children
Healthy Habits Education Program
Community Health Talks
Environmental Health and Sanitation Program